Ongava Lodge - November 2011

Dec 4, 2011 Ongava Lodge
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Weather and Landscape
We have finally received our first summer rains! Everything and everyone is really pleased with the arrival of the highly anticipated rains, which have changed the parched landscape into a lush haven for our wildlife. It is amazing how resilient the wildlife is and how quickly things change once all the correct elements fall into place.

In between the rain that we thankfully received, the daily temperatures did rise up to the 40° C mark quite often, and would then drop to around 19° C on average at night, making for comfortable conditions. On one or two occasions, we did experience a westerly wind at night, which caused a considerable drop in temperature, but it warmed up rapidly once the sun spread its rays over us in the mornings.

Game viewing for this month has been spectacular both in Ongava Game Reserve and Etosha National Park. Ongava Game Reserve is full of newborn calves from a variety of antelope species, which in turn creates a time of plenty for the many predatory species.

The waterhole in front of the lodge has been the focus of attention, as huge numbers of wildlife visit the waterhole daily. At any one time, mixed herds of gemsbok (oryx), springbok, zebra, kudu and eland, all with their young, can be at the waterhole.

We were also lucky to see both black and white rhino with their calves visit the waterhole a couple of times.

With all the herbivore activity focused on the waterhole, the lions also made an appearance with their cubs. Being the opportunists that they are, they cashed in and were seen feeding on a giraffe and a zebra very close to the waterhole on two separate occasions. What an amazing experience it was to witness this activity from the comfort of the lodge.

Having said this, the lions did not spend as much time in ambush around the waterhole as one would expect. They spent most of their time being highly mobile throughout the reserve - possibly the arrival of the nomadic males last month has caused a shift in the lion dynamics in the area; especially for the young cubs.

On the cold-blooded side of the scale, Kapona and his guests got to view a very special reptilian interaction. The group was amazed when they found a large snouted cobra and a puff adder locked in battle. Snouted cobras are known to be cannibalistic and often feed on smaller snakes. The puff adder's fate is unknown, as the snakes moved into thick brush and out of view.

Staff in Camp
Managers: Adriano, Agnes and Jason.
Guides: Teacher, Kapona, Henock, Abram and Michael.

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